EU's Borrell decries Russian 'war crime' in Mariupol
March 21, 2022
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell accused Russia of committing "war crimes" in Mariupol. The besieged Ukrainian port city has been under shelling, and city officials said civilians were forcibly evacuated to Russia.
The Russian attacks on Mariupol, a besieged Ukrainian city, amount to a "massive war crime," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday ahead of a meeting with the bloc's foreign ministers.
"It's a destruction of people who are suffering incredibly," he said.
Borrell added that "destroying everything, bombarding and killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is something awful."
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also highlighted the increase in Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and theaters.
The "courts will have to decide, but for me these are clearly war crimes," Baerbock said.
People in Mariupol suffer from hunger, cold
The port city of Mariupol has been under been under siege by Russian troops since the invasion began on February 24.
The city holds a crucial strategic importance to Russian forces, as its capture could help them establish a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Mariupol authorities, as well as Russian forces, have said the city was facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Multiple civilian bomb shelters were shelled in the past few days.
On Sunday, Mariupol's city council said Russian forces were forcibly evacuating Ukrainians to Russian territories.
EU 'ready' to impose further sanctions on Russia
EU foreign and defense ministers were meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss the war in Ukraine.
In remarks to reporters after the meeting, Borrell said the EU was "ready to take further
[measures] with our partners" on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Some EU nations, like Poland and the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, were pushing for further sanctions, especially on the Russian oil and gas sector.